Denver International Airport

T-RCED/AIMD-95-184: Published: May 11, 1995. Publicly Released: May 11, 1995.

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GAO discussed the Denver International Airport (DIA), focusing on its development, cost, and airfield construction. GAO noted that: (1) DIA was built in just over 5 years and opened in February 1995; (2) DIA is one of the largest airports in the nation and has 33 miles of runways and taxiways; (3) the scheduled DIA opening date was delayed four times because of airport scope and design changes and automated baggage handling system problems; (4) only parts of the automated baggage system were functional when DIA opened; and (5) DIA construction costs were underestimated by $1 billion. GAO also noted that: (1) a back-up conventional baggage system will be used until the new system is fully operational; (2) DIA total cost is over $4.8 billion, including $3 billion in construction costs; (3) the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) plans to contribute $655 million in federal funds toward DIA costs; (4) the city of Denver has scheduled additional work to correct problems with concrete panels in DIA runways beginning in June 1995, although other unidentified problems may exist in the runway system; and (5) repairs to the newly constructed Terminal Radar Approach Control Facility are under way.